December 30th 2014
The Underwater Observation Marine Park is one of the not-to-be-missed highlights of a touring experience in Eilat. Here, visitors can descend a staircase into a glassed-in room deep below the surface of the Red Sea. Located just a few miles to the south of Israel’s southernmost city, the Underwater Observatory hosts hundreds of species of fish that are native to the coral reef. Their colors are often eye-popping, and the variety of sea creatures is mind-boggling.
At the shark aquarium, visitors can watch the sharks being fed and learn about their habits from a trained shark handler. Other aquariums hold sea turtles, catfish, sting rays and an unusual display of animals from the Amazon River area in South America.
A multimedia exhibit here simulates the feeling of going on a deep sea dive along with a crusty captain and a young sailor. Glass-bottom boats sail in circuits in the surrounding Red Sea, offering a good introduction to the riches that lie beneath the water. Keep your eyes open for coral, the fish that flourish near coral, sea sponges, predatory fish and hundreds of extraordinary sea creatures. The color and variety will astonish you. Commercial photographers snap photos of each group entering the glass-bottom boats, and if you like the shot, it will be ready for purchase when you step off the boat.
For the complete Red Sea marine life viewing experience, make sure to descend into the Underwater Observatory itself. At the end of a pier is a distinctive white tower on a pedestal, which looks something like an upside down version of Seattle’s Space Needle. Walk down some steps inside the tower and you’ll find yourself in a circular, underwater room surrounded by enormous, thick Plexiglas windows. It’s perfectly designed for the task at hand – to look with awe at the pulsating colors of the reef among the fish that thrive and in the coral that grows there. Your descent into the observation tower will introduce you to an amazing underwater world that is otherwise generally hidden from human eyes.
For fun photos, climb up into the portraits of deep sea divers and stick your head through the openings. There are a number of restaurants and cafes available nearby too, allowing parents to sit and relax while their kids enjoy the many fun features of this attraction.